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Paula Canny is one of the premier criminal defense lawyers in California. She practices criminal defense law in all county courts within the state of California. Although her area of particular expertise is California State Court Practice she also practices Federal Criminal defense.

Paula is committed to effective and aggressive representation of her clients. She is intimately familiar with all aspects of criminal procedure. In making the effort to know the clients behind the cases coupled with her years of experience and hard work Paula is able to yield positive results for her clients.

Paula’s reputation as being effective at all stages of the criminal prosecution process puts her in high demand. She knows when a case should be settled and she can reach a fair and equitable resolution. She knows how to try a case to jury having won many jury trials, including the first three strike trial in San Mateo some ten plus years ago.

Paula handles all types of criminal cases from misdemeanors to felonies, property crimes and drug cases, to crimes of violence, including assault, battery, domestic violence, robbery, murder, arson, and three strike cases. Traffic cases include drunk driving, DUI, manslaughter, reckless driving and all Department of Motor Vehicles hearings and driver’s license matters.

In that regard Paula has great expertise in substance abuse issues and alternative and creative sentencing resolutions. She is active in the San Mateo County Drug Court team and has worked hard for years to walk her talk that drug abuse is wrongly characterized as a criminal law problem. Paula is staunch opponent of the death penalty.

Paula has expanded the work of her firm to include personal injury litigation as well as probate litigation. All of the skills and experience she brings in criminal trials she now brings to her Civil Cases. She has brought other attorneys into her office to work under her guidance and direction.

Paula consults with other lawyers regarding strategy and trial preparation and practice for both criminal and civil cases. She has tried civil cases for civil practioners who wanted an experienced litigator.

Paula’s commitment is to effective and aggressive representation. She is a frequent commentator on Bay Area News Programs as well as National News, both cable and Network on high profile cases.

Paula has represented people from all walks of life accused of all manners of illegal conduct. Some of her clients are famous and some are not. But regardless of stature or accusation Paula’s commitment to a client is fierce. That is what makes her such an effective lawyer.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 60%
    3 years
  2. Wills: 10%
  3. Trusts: 10%
    3 years
  4. Probate: 10%
    3 years
  5. DUI & DWI: 10%
    3 years

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Contact info

840 Hinckley Rd Ste 101
Burlingame, CA, 94010


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
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Legal answers
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of San Francisco School of LawN/AJD - Juris DoctorN/A